Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters arise suddenly, and although it is crucial for all of us to have an emergency plan ready to go, it is particularly important for the elderly, who are often challenged with mobility or chronic health issues. Since September is National Preparedness Month, take this opportunity to ensure the older adults you love are equipped and prepared for a potential disaster. Taking these three steps is a good starting point.
- Put together an emergency plan. This should consist of designating a primary person (or multiple people) who can be responsible for checking up on the older adult during an emergency, and who will then communicate that information to the senior’s family and friends. Put together a list of contact information for each individual who must be informed, and then make sure each person has a copy of the list. The plan should also lay out an evacuation process, and who will assist the senior with evacuating the premises, if necessary.
- Put together a natural disaster supply kit. The CDC proposes the following items be stored together in an easily-accessible location for usage in case of an emergency:
- Water, nonperishable food items (including pet food if applicable), and medications to last for at least 3 days
- Flashlight and additional batteries
- First aid kit
- Manual can opener
- Hand-crank or battery-powered radio
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Change of clothing
- Wet wipes, paper towels, and hand sanitizer
- Copies of important records in a waterproof container (see below)
- Fire extinguisher
- Assemble important records. In an emergency, the last thing you will want to do is scramble to locate necessary paperwork. Place copies of the following documentation in a waterproof box or bag:
- Details regarding medical needs and history, medications taken, health care providers, etc. (the CDC has provided this simple template)
- Insurance cards and photo ID
- Will, living will, power of attorney, etc.
- Listing of any food and/or medication allergies
- Contact information for loved ones and friends who ought to be alerted during an emergency
Working with a professional home care agency, like At-Home Care Company, is a great way to make sure the elderly will be well taken care of in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency. We’re prepared and proactive, with a plan in place for providing the care needed for seniors every day of the year, rain or shine, always keeping family members updated about any and all concerns at all times.
Contact our home care assistance Des Moines experts for further tips and resources, and to arrange for a complimentary consultation in the comfort of home. For additional details on how we can help the seniors you love stay healthy and secure, contact us any time at (515) 292-2650.